Summary writing: Principles on the web-site for teachers and learners of English as a secondary language from a German point of view
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Summary: Principles

Every day a lot of things happen all over the world. But time is short and there isn't enough space to cover all the details in newspapers or TV magazines. Like reporters, like everybody else, you must try to save time and keep reports as short as possible. To cut a long story short:

"to sum up"

 Summing-up is a technique that follows strict rules:

1. The original text is cut to about one third.

2. Only the main ideas are mentioned; that means that no examples or repetitions are allowed.

3. Specific statements are combined to form general statements.

4. Direct or reported speech are changed into statements, with the exception of very important quotations.
 

When you have to sum up written texts follow these hints:
 

1. Read the text quickly in order to find the main ideas (skimming)

2. If necessary look at special passages of the text in order to make clear that you've got all the main ideas (scanning).

3. Take a pencil and underline the most important words (marking).

4. Write down key-words, i.e. words that sum up the meaning of the text, but which needn't necessarily occur in the text (making notes).

5. Sum up the key-words in simple sentences (summing up in simple form)

6. Combine the simple sentences by using conjunctions like "as, though, because, since" etc or participle constructions or infinitives (summing up in complex form).

7. Compare the original text with your text to find out that you've got the essential information (check).


<Click here and you will always get back to the table of contents>
Table of Contents
Summary writing:
principles
HOMEback to the homepagePAGE back to the previous page back to 
Stating your opinion:
a speech
go on to
Summary:
Procedures and rules
on to the next page